If you have sustained a leg injury after a car accident, read on for common types of leg injuries and some tips about your personal injury claim. The Bishop Law Firm represents car accident victims in North Carolina and we do not get paid unless you win. Call us today!
This article is not offered as medical advice on accident injuries. If you have been injured in auto accident, please seek immediate medical attention for your symptoms or leg injuries.
Types of Leg Injury After Auto Accident
- Skin Injury (soft tissue injuries) – can be shallow or to the bone. The deeper the cut the longer it will take to heal. Depending on where the laceration is it may affect your ability to walk, sit and stand. Sutures may be required. There is always the chance of infection and scarring. For more read our article: Skin Injury After A Car Accident.
- Muscles, Ligaments, or Tendons Strain and Tear – cause leg pain, swelling and even the inability to use the muscle. Usually a physical examination by a doctor can be enough to diagnose a muscle strain or tear. You may need crutches or a brace to demobilize the area and give it time to heal. P.R.I.C.E. and NSAIDS are often recommended by doctors (Via WebMD).
- Dislocated Hip and Leg Bones – Dislocation happens when a bone comes out of its joint. The damage or deformity may or may not be visibly apparent but the intense pain and inability to move is undeniable. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of hip dislocations. An x-ray and MRI are usually given to determine the extent of the bone dislocation and the damage to the surrounding soft tissue. Reduction, immobilization, surgery and rehabilitation are all treatment options that an orthopedist may recommend (Via Mayo Clinic).
- Broken Leg Bones – The legs contain the longest bones in the human body: femur, tibia and fibula. A leg bone can snap into two clean pieces or shatter completely (comminuted). The bone may or may not stick out of the skin (open). The more complicated the leg fracture, the more time it will take to heal. X-rays are usually used to diagnose a broken bone but stress fractures are more difficult to diagnose (Via WebMD). Treatment begins the same as discussed above for dislocation, then a splint, pins, wires or rods and a cast are used to hold the bones stationary while they heal. At the minimum, 6-8 weeks will be needed for you to heal.
- Broken Hip Bones – Hip fractures occur at the upper end of the femur. In my practice, hip and femur fractures seem to be the worst and most troublesome. The pelvis plays a great part in the balance and movement of your body. Once damaged, the body takes substantial time to heal. Depending on the type of break, surgery can involve screws, plates and even total hip replacement (Via OrthoInfo).
- Deep Vein Thrombosis – in simple terms, a blood clot that is located deep in your body. Injury from trauma to your leg during an accident or the surgery required to repair your injuries may both cause a DVT. Pulmonary embolisms are a complication of a DVT. If you have unexplained pain, swelling or discoloration, you should seek medical attention (Via HealthLine).
- Knee Injury – A knee cap (patella) can be broken or dislocated. Patellar fractures are common in a head on collision. Immobilization may work to heal the fracture, but if your patella is shattered- surgery will be needed. Unfortunately, post-traumatic arthritis, weakness and chronic pain are long term possibilities (Via OrthoInfo). Also, a acl injury or torn meniscus can lead to knee instability, inability to move your knee normally or persistent knee pain (Via Mayo Clinic).
Tips For Your Personal Injury Case
In order to pursue a personal injury case in NC, generally, you must not be at fault for the accident. NC is one of the few remaining contributory negligence states. Most states use comparative fault or a variation of it. You can check your state here. Assuming that the accident was not your fault, we proceed.
After your car crash, avoid social media or any activity that can be construed negatively by the driver’s insurance company. You should obtain medical treatment (including physical therapy) as soon as possible and continue to follow all medical advice. Do not discuss your personal injury case with your doctor. Use your time with your doctor for focusing on your health.
Document any time missed from work, medical bills and any expenses that you occur (including mileage, bandages, braces, prescriptions, etc.). You can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or you can hire an attorney to help you before you file the claim. Property damage claims are separate from personal injury claims and there is usually a different adjuster for both claims.
You will be contacted by the driver’s insurance company adjuster either by a letter or by phone. Please know that contacting the insurance adjuster for status of payment frequently may decrease the amount of your settlement because you seem “desperate.” Insurance adjusters can request that you do a recorded statement. The question as to if you should do a recorded statement or how much discussion you should have with the adjuster is best discussed with your car accident lawyer.
If you have sustained leg injuries after a collision, you may be facing substantial medical expenses, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. The Bishop Law Firm can help you with your car accident personal injury case in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids and surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call us today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095.